Nationals blast Andrelton Simmons for slide, Bryce Harper calls it a ‘B.S. play’
The Washington Nationals were already going to be in a foul mood following the team’s 8-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Monday. After all, it was the team’s sixth-straight loss, one that dropped the team to a shocking 7-13 record, something that couldn’t have been predicted considering the team was anointed a World Series favorite at the outset of the season.
But the Nationals already-sour disposition was made that much worse due to an arguably late slide by Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons during the fifth inning. The slide knocked the ball out of Yunel Escobar’s glove, not to mention loosened some chunks of skin off the shortstop’s hand in the process, per an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.
Even though Simmons admitted he expected to be plunked in retaliation — which he did in the 7th inning by Rafael Martin — he defended the slide after the game.
“I was just going hard and trying to go right for the bag,” he said. “It’s bad that somebody got hurt, hopefully it’s not that bad, but I was just trying to play hard.”
Several members of the Nationals, however, didn’t see it quite that way, and expressed their dissatisfaction with what they perceived as an incredibly late slide by Simmons.
Via AJC’s Mark Bradley:
Said Bryce Harper: “Andrelton plays with a lot of energy, but that was a B.S. play. That slide was definitely uncalled for.”
Said Ian Desmond: “He really didn’t slide at all. It was a pretty ugly slide. You’ve got to be way smarter than that. There’s a right way to play the game, and that’s not the right way.”
Escobar left the game and was “pretty cut up” according to Nationals skipper Matt Williams, who appeared pretty upset when checking on his player after the slide. The infielder’s hand was bandaged after the game and he said he expects to miss a “day or two,” per a report from The Washington Post.
The Nationals and Braves square off again on Tuesday in the second game of a three-game set, and the teams will face one another a total of 19 times this season. The events of Monday should make for an interesting season series.
(image via Arnold Mitre/Twitter)